Fourth Capitol Hill Officer Announced Dead by Suicide

Fourth Capitol Hill Officer Dies by Suicide

( – On Tuesday, August 3, the United States Senate unanimously voted to award Congressional Gold Medals to law enforcement agencies for their role in quashing the January 6 incident at the US Capitol Building. The House passed the bill in March, and President Joe Biden is expected to sign the measure soon. Sadly, the news came too late for DC Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) officer Kyle DeFreytag.

On Monday, the MPD confirmed DeFreytag died as the result of suicide last month. His death made him one of fourth police officers to take his own life who participated in securing the nation’s capital in the wake of the January 6 incident.

Officer DeFreytag worked for the MPD for five years, according to his obituary. MPD officials said he protected the US Capitol Complex by enforcing curfews after officials cleared the Capitol Building.

The confirmation of DeFreytag’s passing came hours after the department announced the July 29 suicide of officer Gunther Hashida. Officer Hashida responded to the January 6 riot as a member of an emergency response team headed up by the MPD’s special operations division.

MPD officer Jeffrey Smith and US Capitol Police Department officer Howard Liebengood both died of suicide in January, shortly after the riot.

Law enforcement officials face tremendous stressors on a routine basis. Fortunately, officials like MPD Chief Robert Contee have expressed a commitment to prioritize the mental health of police officers.

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